"it appears a beaver picked it up and chewed it in half"

Scot,

  Here's what we received from the Assocaited Press.

--
Kendall P. Stanley
Managing editor
Petoskey News-Review
(231) 439-9349
(231) 881-4349 (cell)

By JOHN FLESHER
Associated Press Writer
    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. _ Northeastern Michigan had a problem to chew

on:

Long-distance phone service was interrupted for more than six hours after

a

beaver apparently gnawed through a fiber optic cable.

"In my 33 years with the company I've never heard of this happening," said
John VanWyck, spokesman for Verizon Communications. "I've heard of

squirrels

chewing aerial cable, but not this."

The outage began shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday [July 1st]. Service was

completely

restored by 2:35 p.m. Some 62,000 customers were affected, including
long-distance, dial-up Internet and some cellular phone services, as well

as

credit card and ATM machines.

"This has had a huge impact on our business," Doug Morrison, owner of a
grocery store in Hillman, told The Alpena News. "Seventy percent of our
business pays by credit card. Because of this stupid thing, our machines
won't work. We've had a lot of customers leave $100 in groceries because
they couldn't pay for them."

The affected area extended from Roscommon County north to Gaylord and east
to Alpena and Rogers City, VanWyck said.

It took crews a while to locate the source of the problem because the

cable

was stretched across a wetland area north of Houghton Lake, near the
headwaters of the Muskegon River, he said.

The state Department of Natural Resources had lowered the water level in

the

wetland by several feet because of heavy rain in recent months, VanWyck
said. The wetland drains into the lake and the river.

"The lower water levels exposed the fiber optic cable," VanWyck said.

"From

all indications, it appears a beaver picked it up and chewed it in half.

By

the looks of the ends of the cable, it was obviously chewed."

The outage was ill-timed for businesses in the area, particularly motels
taking reservations for the Fourth of July weekend.

"It wasn't as bad as it could have been, because we were able to get some
incoming calls for some reason," said Tom Zamoyski, general manager of

Best

Western Alpine Lodge in Gaylord. "But we couldn't call any of our

customers

or suppliers, and we couldn't use e-mail. We had a lot of guests in house
and they were frustrated that they couldn't call out."

Emergency dispatch centers in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle
counties maintained radio contact until long distance service was

restored,

Gaa. Beavers. Cute, but incredibly destructive. Don't get me started.

- SLS (who owns lakefront property)